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  • Front Axle / Front Suspension: Serious alignment issue

    I was installing a "new" tighter reach rod in my 63 Lark Daytona, when I caught sight of this, and I had a blood-run-cold moment!



    Only about 4,000 miles on my car since a complete tear-down and rebuild. I knew my alignment wasn't within specs, but didn't realize it was THIS bad.
    Lucky I didn't have a blow out or worse.

    I know I have lowered the control arm and flipped the upper arm's crossbar once, but that only took the car even more out of specs.

    What the heck do I do now?

  • #2
    Align it.
    Caster, camber, and toe in.

    Get it within spec's.

    Not pickin' at you at all.
    This is a basic thing, like setting dwell during a tune up.

    Moving things around does no good unless the suspension stays in the spec range through suspension movement range.
    And, as you have found out, moving things makes the end target move, too.

    Get back to basics.
    Caster, camber, and toe in.
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

    Jeff


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

    Comment


    • #3
      What the heck do I do now?
      Find the problem and fix it.

      First, get it on an alignment rack and get all the current readings. Only when you know exactly where you are can you figure out how to get where you want to go and what route to take to get there.

      From the wear in the photo, it's probable you have the camber way off on that side. The tire/wheel tilts in too much at the top and is wearing the inside of the tire There are two camber adjustments, plus whatever you changed, plus spring sag.

      If the camber is correct, there could be too much toe-out, but the wear pattern would usually be wider.

      Is the same condition present on the other side?
      Last edited by PackardV8; 12-03-2012, 07:29 AM.
      PackardV8

      Comment


      • #4
        I was able to set up the toe-in, but the camber & caster have been a problem. I've wondered if the car'd been in an accident but when I cleaned the frame for paint I never found any evidence of a wrinkle or weld and things went back together easily. I bought things from Eastwood to set alignment on my Studes and have only had the issues on this Lark.

        The other front tire isn't as bad, with a 1" patch of cord showing. Yeah, I think the tires are resembling the accura 'A' - the bent H of honda.

        Comment


        • #5
          No problem, just flip the tires around on the rim....er, wheel, and you've got another 3-4 thousand miles to go.....

          Just kidding, you need to diagnose and fix it!

          Comment


          • #6
            I know I have lowered the control arm and flipped the upper arm's crossbar once, but that only took the car even more out of specs.
            More and more like front spring sag. Measure the travel distance at the lower bump stop and let us know.

            jack vines
            PackardV8

            Comment


            • #7
              ""I know I have lowered the control arm and flipped the upper arm's crossbar once, but that only took the car even more out of specs.""

              I know what flipping the crossbar does...but what do you mean by "lowered the control arm" ?

              That tire either has about 8 degrees of neg. camber or...it's got a ton of toe-out.
              By the looks of your picture, its not got a lot of neg. camber...so it looks to me as a highly misadjusted toe-out adjustment on that wheel/tire.
              I'd thing whatever the actual problem...that that car..as is...would be pulling HARD to the right. Unless both tire look the same...!

              The "caster" will not do that to a tire.
              The "camber"...could...do that to a tire, but I doubt that the design of a stock Stude front end could produce 8 or 10 degrees of negitive camber.

              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks Mike, that's the help I needed. I KNOW I need to fix this thing...

                By saying I lowered the control arm, it was to take pressure off the upper to flip the bar.
                I will re-check my toe-in and Jack, I hope it's not a spring issue since I replaced them both on the rebuild...but will measure anyway!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Do not overlook the simple things, like bad wheel bearings causing your camber to go way off.
                  Gary L.
                  Wappinger, NY

                  SDC member since 1968
                  Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A Stude tire does not ride in the center of the tread. The weight on the tire is inline with the rear wheel bearing. There is also back spacing of the rim and the king pin inclination angle. All of the wear will be in an area called the scrub radius. If you measure the front of your car you will find the scrub radius right there where it is worn. I have been crying about this for years but Stude Rich thinks I am crazier than Mad Man Muntz.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am crazier than Mad Man Muntz
                      Yes, while Alan is crazier than Mad Man Muntz, he is also correct on on most things technical and especially regarding the scrub radius. ;>)

                      No, even though the scrub radus is on the inside of the tire, if original offset rims and original width tires and correct alignment are used, the wear will be much more even than that shown in the photo.

                      Maybe, as suggested, put it on an alignment and tell us what it reads.

                      BTW, what tires and wheels are now on the car?


                      jack vines
                      PackardV8

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I have 205/70R 15 tires on 7" wide Cragar classic wheels, Jack.

                        After 4000+ miles and the installation of a better reach rod, my toe-in WAS way off! I got two new tires today and will check them frequently now.

                        Thanks for the help, Guys!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tomnoller View Post
                          After 4000+ miles and the installation of a better reach rod, my toe-in WAS way off! I got two new tires today and will check them frequently now. Thanks for the help, Guys!
                          Glad to learn your problem was that easily solved.

                          Originally posted by tomnoller View Post
                          I have 205/70R 15 tires on 7" wide Cragar classic wheels, Jack.!
                          Just as I suspected. Alan mentioned about scrub radius; your 7" wheels which are 2.5" wider than stock will move the scrub radius outboard and exacerbate the problem which exists even with the narrow OEM wheels and tires. Life is about tradeoffs.

                          jack vines
                          Last edited by PackardV8; 12-04-2012, 03:00 PM.
                          PackardV8

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am not clear on your discovery/solution.
                            A 'reach rod' should not affect your toe in.
                            (It might be a verbiage thing)
                            To me, a 'reach rod' runs from the steering box to the RH steering arm part of the spindle (on a truck) and from the steering box to the center pivot arm on a car.
                            If you changed the 'reach rod' then you might have a 'centering' issue, where the steering arms are not centered when the steering box (and steering wheel) are centered.
                            This can cause your steering effort to be lopsided, where it steers real easy one direction and a little bit harder the other direction.

                            But if you changed an inner tie rod, or an outer tie rod....then you would/could have a toe in, or toe out problem.

                            Either way, I am glad you got it fixed... I hope.

                            Originally posted by tomnoller View Post
                            <snip>
                            After 4000+ miles and the installation of a better reach rod, my toe-in WAS way off! I got two new tires today and will check them frequently now.
                            Thanks for the help, Guys!
                            HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)

                            Jeff


                            Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain



                            Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Alignment on a Stude is not rocket science. I have not paid for an alignment since 1985, and usually rotate tires every 10,000 to 20,000 miles.

                              With your car, if you simply flipped the upper-inner shaft over, you may well have created the problem, if it was installed with the offset outboard in the first place (most are).

                              It's best to look closely at one of those shafts in the palm of your hand. After studying and feeling the "humps" awhile, you will be able to reach up under the car and feel the installed shaft and determine which way it is set (won't need to see it). Most Studes I've worked on line up best with the shaft positioned to throw the offset outboard, which provides more positive camber, as it appears your car needs.

                              With the shaft in the outboard position, and the tire off, adjust the eccentric pin to throw max outboard (pos camber) there too. Before you do that however, screw the pin so the upper end of the king pin moves toward the rear as much as possible, then back it up, toward the front again, one full turn (provides max caster). Repeat on the other side of the car. Unless the car sits extremely low or high, this is ALL the caster & camber adjustment needed.

                              For tow in & tow out, the Shop Manual explains how to use a string and some wooden blocks. But after you do one that way, you will be able to use line of sight from then on. With radials, you want near zero tow-in. Drive it down the road, and it it pulls left or right, adjust toe in/out on the right front tire to correct, but it should not need over half a turn on the tie rod shaft in either direction.

                              You can take it to an alignment shop and pay big money, but they still not get it any closer than the above procedure. This has worked for me now for over 500,000 miles.

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